It is no secret that the Colorado Rockies are looking to upgrade at catcher in the offseason. That is what we tried to do as part of the FanSided Fake Winter Meetings as well.
With Tony Wolters cemented as one of the (and, let’s face it, the leader of the) Colorado Rockies catchers and management expected to give Dom Nunez some more time before moving him to the 26-man active roster, Colorado is in need of a budget-friendly veteran catcher.
By the way, “budget-friendly” kept us in the Fake Winter Meetings (and the Rockies in real life) from pursuing Yasmani Grandal, who signed a big contract with the Chicago White Sox (and shattered what little hope the Rockies had of signing him) on Thursday.
So, in this case, a simulation could well imitate real life as we went hunting for a veteran catcher.
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In our simulation, we opened the free agent bidding for throwing out a one-year, $7 million contract for Travis d’Arnaud. The 30-year-old catcher had a strong finish to the 2019 season after being released by the New York Mets, signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers and then purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays. While in Tampa (92 games), he hit 16 homers and drove in 67 runs while slashing .263/.323/.459.
Those are numbers that would work well in Coors Field. However, we were outbid at the last minute for his services, with the Washington Nationals coming in with a two-year, $10 million.
Back to the free agent pool we went and we decided to stick with Colorado’s thrifty mindset at the position and throw out a one-year, $5 million offer to Jason Castro. After the Rays upped the offer, we finally secured Castro’s services for two years and $9 million.
Castro has played nine seasons, suiting up for both the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. Last season, the 32-year-old had 237 at-bats over 79 games, piecing together a .232/.332/.435 line.
In our view, he will fill the role of the veteran catcher as Wolters once again prepares to be the Colorado catcher with the most time behind the plate. There are some issues with Castro (including a high strikeout rate). However, in our opinion, he is a solid piece in a backup role at the right price.
Again, this is a simulation but we are attempting to keep it as real as possible. However, we have already made some trades in the FanSided Fake Winter Meetings that we believe can make a difference for our own projected 2020 Rockies. You can see one of the trades in the article link below.
How did we spend the money we saved through trades? You’ll find out very soon as we unveil our pitching free agent pickups.